Ah yes. It’s nearly that time again. Summer is almost upon us (at least it might feel like it) and it’s time decide once and for all whether last year's swimwear can survive another season.
If you do buy another suit, these tips can help ensure it makes it through at least two swim seasons—maybe even more!
Why buy new swimwear now?
By the end of May, swimwear prices will be soaring as fast as temperatures, and they won't drop again until late August/early September. So if you do need to buy new swimwear for anyone in the family, try to do it now.
May is a particularly great month for swimwear deals, because you can cash in on Memorial Day sales and low Sunday swimwear prices (swimwear can be as much as 52% less expensive if you shop on a Sunday!).
What we spend on swimsuits.
Statistics suggest we spend an average of $25 on a woman's swimsuit and $15 on a men's swimsuit.
But, men own an average of one swimsuit, and women own an average of four swimsuits (which means we gals actually spend around $100 on swimwear each year).
These tips can keep your family's swimwear useful for longer!
1. Buy separates.
I don't know about you, but for me, the piece I keep having to replace year after year is the bottom part of my two-piece. So now I just save the tops I still love and shop for bottoms, which are often cheaper.
- Savings: up to 50% on swimwear costs for gals.
2. Buy one suit for exercise and one for social swimming.
The biggest reason swimwear needs replacing is exposure to chlorine, salt, and sun. Suits fade, fray, and sag (just like our skin if we don't protect it!). So buy one cheaper suit you can swim laps in or send your kiddos to swim team practice in, and another nicer suit you love for vacations and pool-side socializing.
- Savings: up to 50% on swimwear costs for the whole family.
3. Use an athletic tank for your swimsuit top.
Many athletic tops today are so cute and classy they can pass for a swimsuit top any day! Plus, you can score super-cheap tops on clearance or at thrift stores—and they have great in-built support!
- Savings: Up to 25-30% per two-piece suit.
- Extra credit savings: Match up swim shorts with your athletic tank for a modest two-piece!
4. Give your post-swim suit a little extra TLC.
You can buy water de-chlorinator for a buck or two at any pet shop (it’s what you put in your goldfish tank to neutralize the chlorine). After your swim, pop your suit in cold water and add a few drops of de-chlorinator. Soak 5-10 minutes.
- Savings: Get up to an extra year of colorful wear out of your suit!
5. A new suit (pre-swim!) vinegar soak works wonders.
It may not make much sense, but soaking your brand-new swimsuit in vinegar and water before you wear it for the first time will really "set" the colors and prevent future fading.
- What to do: Add 1 Tbsp of white vinegar to 1 qt. of water, then soak for 30 minutes.
6. Rinse your swimsuit in cool water before you swim—and after.
After the first vinegar/water soak, you can then simply rinse your swimsuit in plain water before taking a dip. The fabric absorbs the water before it encounters the chlorine, leaving water-soaked fibers less able to soak in the more destructive chlorine.
- What to do: Just rinse off at the pool under the outdoor showers before and after you swim.
7. Wash it as soon as possible after you swim.
The longer your damp swimwear stays piled in a corner of your swim bag or clothes hamper, the more likely it is to attract and replicate bacteria, mildew, and mold spores (yuck!). These are not good for the suit or its wearer.
- What to do: Rinse with plain water and, if possible, lay it flat between the folds of a towel or even lay it flat somewhere in the car for the ride home, then de-chlorinate and wash it immediately.
8. Hand-wash your suit with a mild eco soap.
Hand-washing your suit like the delicate garment it is will do a lot to preserve the stitching and any decorative accents. As well, the type of soap you use will influence how long it stays colorful and holds its shape well.
- What to do: Using a Castille soap or even baby shampoo in cool water is a great hand-washing strategy. Then hang it or lay it flat in a dry (non-humid) place to air dry.
9. Try not to sit on any rough surfaces.
Your swimsuit is the only thing protecting your skin from rough surfaces, but it will take the punishment for you to its detriment. Rather, sit on a towel or deck chair to keep the fabric fray-free.
10. Keep your suit free from oils, lotions, and sprays.
These can build up and change the color and thin the fabric—best to avoid getting them on your swimwear!